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date: 25 June 2022


, lyric poet


, lyric poet
  • Margaret Williamson


Born on *Lesbos in the second half of the 7th cent. bce, she was hailed in antiquity as ‘the tenth Muse’ (Anth. Pal. 9. 506), and her poetry was collected into eight or nine books (arranged mainly by metre) by Alexandrian editors. Only two whole poems (one completed by a recent discovery) and some substantial fragments survive, culled from quotations in other writers or from papyrus finds.Most of her poems were for solo performance, and many refer to love between women or girls. Other subjects include *hymns to deities and apparently personal concerns such as her brother's safety (fr. 5). Wedding songs, and snatches from a lament for *Adonis (fr. 140) are clearly for several singers. Fr. 44, describing the marriage of *Hector and *Andromache, is unusual in its narrative length and proximity to *epic.Little about her life is certain: biographies (POxy.


  • Greek Literature

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